NewsGram Staff Writer
Hyderabad: Amid tight security and police vigilance, the 10-day long Ganesh Utsav culminated with idols of Lord Ganesh being immersed peacefully with religious fervor and enthusiasm in Hyderabad and other parts of Telangana on Sunday.
However, three people died in two seperate incidents during the rituals in Khammam and Medak districts. While a nine-year-old child died after falling from a truck carrying the idol in Medak district, two teenagers drowned in a lake in Khammam district.
Director General of Police Anurag Sharma said the celebrations were held in a smooth and peaceful manner.
To mark the conclusion of the 10-day Gamnesha Utsav, hordes of vehicles carrying Ganesha idols of all sizes and in different ‘avataars‘ queued up near the Hussain Sagar Lake in the Hyderabad city.
Telangana Home Minister N Narasimha Reddy, DGP Anurag Sharma, Hyderabad Police Commissioner M Mahender Reddy and other officials made an aerial survey of the mammoth procession.
The gargantuan procession, which began from the city outskirts Balapur passed through the communally-sensitive old city and the main thoroughfares while proceeding towards the Hussain Sagar Lake.
No untoward incident was reported from anywhere in the city, police said. The afternoon and evening prayers at the historic Makkah Masjid near Charminar were also performed peacefully amid tight security and vigilance by the police.
The Hyderabad and Cyberabad city was enveloped in a tight security blanket with over 30,000 policemen, including personnel from the central paramilitary forces deployed across the area. As part of the elaborate security measure police forces were imported from neighboring states of Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh in addition to nine other districts of Telangana to vigil the culmination of the 10-day festival in Hyderabad.
With the immersion coinciding with the third and final day of Eid-ul-Azha, police made elaborate security arrangements by installing 2,500 CCTV cameras in the twin-cities. The police commissioner said 400 cameras were installed on the main procession route to monitor the proceedings.
Lakhs of people, including women and children, participated in the festivities, which brought all other activity in the city to a grinding halt. The main procession covered a distance of 25 km enroute Hussain Sagar, where 50 cranes were deployed for the immersion of the idols. As many as 21 tributary processions from different parts of the city joined the main procession.
Authorities also made arrangements for immersion of idols at 20 other lakes around the city where around 60,000 idols were immersed.
The famous and tallest idol from Khairatabad was carried to Hussain Sagar Lake in the evening. The idol this year stood at 59 feet with a 6,000-kg ‘laddu‘ in its hand.
The immersion of idols is slated to continue till the dawn of Monday.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu addressed the procession at MJ Market crossroads. He said the Ganesh festival underlined the unity as people, irrespective of religion, caste and social status participated. He termed the festival as one of the mega events in the world.
Naidu said the festival reflects the rich culture and heritage of the country. He cautioned against alien culture, foreign religions and foreign forces.
Union Minister of State Bandaru Dattatreya, BJP’s Telangana unit president G Kishan Reddy and leaders of BJP, VHP, Bhagyanagar Ganesh Utsav Samithi and others participated in the celebrations.
(With inputs from IANS)